Christmas Mass Practice


Is it permissible for the priest to have the children sit in front of the alter after the gospel during Christmas Mass? Once they are there he reads them a story, which ends up playing a role in the homily. After either the story or the homily they go back to their seats. What are your opinions on this? I thought it was kind of cute at first, but now I have begun to find it distracting.


I would guess that this is permissible at a ‘Children’s Mass’. Whether it is really a good idea or not would depend on how reverently the homily is done.


I don’t know, but I think I would go somewhere else for Mass.


In front, not on, is licit, but inappropriate. Reading a story DURING homily, permissible, but again, inappropriate. Role playing during homily, permissible, but again, inappropriate.

There are some priests today that need to learn that just because it is licit doesn’t mean you should do it. It is a Mass, not a play. He should keep role-playing outside of Mass.


Thanks for the replies. This isn’t a children’s Mass; at least I don’t think it is (especially not at 10:00 pm). There is no roleplaying during the homily, but the content of the story plays a role in it. Like the first year (I’ve only been Catholic for two) the story was a tree and how it’s wood was involved with three parts of Jesus’s life from birth until death. That idea was the main part of the homily. Last year I think the story was about Santa and if so that played a large role in the homily. It’s content did anyway, I’m just not sure what the content was exactly; I just have a vague memory of being frustrated by the topic and may have had thought something like, “why are we talking so much about Santa,” but maybe I’m wrong.


Inappropriate because…?



My question, too. At our parish, during the family Mass, our pastor calls the children up to sit on the floor while he sits on the steps to the sanctuary. He reads a picture book about Christmas. He then gives a short homily for us grownups. Jesus did say, “Let the children come to me…”


This isn’t anabuse as described. It may be annoying for adults without children at that particular Mass. If this is something that happens once a year, I wouldn’t get too worked up over it. If you don’t want to, or can’t, attend a different Mass, simply focus more on the adult part of the homily and pray for the children during the storybook part.


Inappropriate because the Mass is not playtime. The Mass is not children’s library story hour.


How does this apply to what the OP described?



I agree that the Mass is neither but fail to see how either describes what the OP says occurred.



Licit, which makes the idea of whether it appropriate a matter of opinion, in which case, only that of the priest is relevant.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit